IL State Sen. Donne Trotter in court after trying to bring handgun on aircraft, prosecutors say.
December 6, 2012
(CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Bond was set at $25,000 for State Senator Donne Trotter after he was charged with trying to bring a handgun onto an aircraft.
Trotter was arrested Wednesday at O'Hare International Airport, where security discovered the gun in Trotter's carry-on bag.
Defense attorney Joshua Harman said at Thursday's bond hearing that Trotter has dedicated his life to the people of Illinois. Harman also cited Trotter's 26-year marriage and his four children.
Trotter has a valid firearms owner identification card and a permit with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations to work as a security guard.
Trotter, a Democrat who has served in the state legislature since 1988, spent Wednesday night in police lockup.
According to police, Trotter was going through security at O'Hare Airport around 7 Wednesday morning when a Transportation Security Administration agent spotted a .25 caliber Beretta in his garment bag via x-ray.
Trotter told investigators he worked late Tuesday night at his job as a security guard at All Points Security, packed his bag early this morning but didnt realize the gun was in his bag, police said.
Last week, Trotter announced he would seek the Congressional seat left open when Jesse Jackson Junior resigned-- making him one of more than half a dozen contenders for the seat.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who used to represent part of the district, said it could hurt Trotter's chances in the race.
"As far as political, the people of the district and the party leaders have to make a decision to put a person with this kind of baggage in the answer in the Second District," Kinzinger said.
One political analyst says while this arrest might not derail his campaign, it doesn't help in a district that has already seen more than its share of controversial candidates.
"One doesn't understand how one can go on a plane this day and age," the Director of the Institute for Politics at Roosevelt University Paul Green said. "It will be used as an argument against him. It's something he did but not a knock out."
Meanwhile, constituents in the district have mixed opinions on Trotter's arrest.
"If you're trying to get into office, I don't know much about politics but to me that's a wrong foot in the door. You're not even in the door yet and you started off wrong," said Chauntalaynee Frazier.
"Everyone deserves a second chance and I think what I would do is evaluate who else is running and then I will make my decision on who I will vote for at that point on," said Keith Moore.
"We're going to be wondering about the decisions he's going to be making if he was elected, so I guess I'm going to have to do a lot of thinking," said Colette Jones.